Johannesburg is vast car-centric city with a poorly developed public transportation system, yet it is the transportation hub of the country, linked by air, train, long-distance bus and auto freeways. Rush-hours aside, getting around town is best done by car although some neighborhoods should be avoided because of their crime stats. The freeways - also called highways or motorways - number 10 in all with N1, N3 and N12 forming a ring road. M1 run south from Soweto north to Buccleuch, it turns into N1. M3 run east west from Germiston to Main Reef Road. TIP: Make sure your car has GPS.
Renting a car is a good option around Joburg if you avoid driving in rush-hour traffic and use GPS or a good map. Flying into O.R. Tambo International Airport, head to the basement area for pickup from major international or domestic firms, which also have offices in town. A highway hub, Johannesburg makes it easy to travel by car to Cape Town, Durban and Kruger National Park.
The great sprawling city is only just beginning to set aside bike lanes and put up signage, so best do your cycling recreationally. Close-in rides include along the Braafontein spruit (steam) and Critical Mass night rides the last Friday evening every month when cyclists take over the roads, starting at the corner of Juta and De Beer streets in Braamfontein. For day-tripping, head out on N3 to Heidelberg and the Sulkerbosrand nature reserve, which has short and long cycling loops. Bike shares are also at the nascent stage, but bike rentals and bike tours, including Soweto, are available. Wherever you ride, wear a helmet.
The Gautrain (pronounced How-train) suburban trains run north from Park Station in the center city to business districts in Sandton and Rosebank, Pretoria and O.R. Tambo International Airport. The shiny-gold cars operate between 5:30 am and 8:30 pm about every 12-30 minutes. Gautrain Gold Cards are sold at stations and are also good on feeder buses from Gautrain stations. Tourists are advised to avoid the Metrorail, which linked Park Station with Soweto, Pretoria, the East Rand and West Rand.
Local buses, except for those feeding into the Guatrain commuter train lines, are not recommended for tourists. But Johannesburg is a good place for hopping long-distance buses at Park Station.
Taxis are expensive and hard to come by unless you call for pickup or grab one at a hotel queue. Few are metered, so settle on a price before you take off. Uber launched in 2014 with competitive pricing.